Harvey Weinstein and President Donald Trump have a few things in common, including sexual harassment allegations, but only one of them should be castigated, according to Republican National Committee Chair Ronna Romney… but it isn’t the president.
While Weinstein is accused of using his power to intimidate and at least attempt to elicit sexual acts from women, including actress Ashley Judd, almost a year ago, the American people heard the tape of the “locker room talk” (as the president put it) in which he brags to Billy Bush about grabbing women by the genitals.
They’re “not even comparable,” Romney told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, and “to even make that comparison is disrespectful to the president.”
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) October 9, 2017
At least 11 women accused Trump of unwanted sexual advances, including reportedly walking in on contestants of the Miss Teen USA pageant while they were undressing, but unlike Weinstein, Trump denied all the allegations. He threatened to sue, but did not follow through.
Weinstein admitted his guilt after accusations became public. His company, the Weinstein Company, says it’s running its own internal investigation after The New York Times reported Weinstein had settled with at least eight women who accused him of sexual harassment going back decades.
The 65 year-old movie executive had earlier taken a leave of absence after The Times exposé.
But the board of Weinstein Company made the decision to fire him “in light of new information about misconduct…that has emerged in the past few days.”
His departure leaves his brother Bob and COO David Glasser in charge.
Weinstein helped make movies like “Shakespeare in Love” and “Chicago.”
He is also a big backer of liberal causes and donated to Democrats during the 2016 election.
Producer and director Kevin Smith said on Monday he regretted taking money from Weinstein’s production company.
“He financed the first 14 years of my career – and now I know while I was profiting, others were in terrible pain. It makes me feel ashamed,” Smith, known for the comedies “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back” and “Clerks,” wrote on Twitter.
Actresses Judd and Rose McGowan have said Weinstein sexually harassed them and movie director Judd Apatow and producer Megan Ellison are among those who have spoken out in support of them.
Weinstein is the latest U.S. media or entertainment industry titan to face sexual harassment accusations. At Fox News, late Chief Executive Officer Roger Ailes was forced out in 2016 and anchor Bill O’Reilly resigned in April after similar claims.
More than 50 women have accused comedian Bill Cosby of sexual assault. He faces a retrial in April on the one criminal case against him.
Reuters contributed to this report.